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posted on September 20, 2012 00:41

Update: Links to the workgroup agenda and presentations include:

The Idaho Medicaid workgroup, formed by Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to evaluate Medicaid expansion to low-income adults, will hold its second meeting on Thursday, September 27th, at the State Capitol, EW-40. The meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  An agenda for the meeting is available here.

Governor Otter appointed 15 people from the public and private sectors to evaluate the potential impact to Idaho of expanding Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states originally were mandated to expand Medicaid insurance coverage to adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of poverty—roughly $31,000 a year for a family of four.  A Supreme Court decision in late June ruled that Medicaid expansion is an option for states and not required, leaving it up to states to decide if they want to expand their Medicaid programs.

The Governor’s workgroup for Medicaid expansion is headed by Department of Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong. The workgroup plans to provide its analysis and recommendations to Governor Otter by November 1.

During the first Medicaid expansion workgroup meeting in August, Leavitt Partners presented a preliminary report covering the demographics and projected medical needs of the population that Medicaid expansion would cover. Idaho Medicaid had contracted with Leavitt Partners in April, before the Supreme Court decision or formation of the Governor’s workgroup, to study the possible expansion population.  Leavitt Partners will provide an updated summary and full report at the September workgroup meeting. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare plans to use a live Twitter feed during the meeting to highlight the key points from the Leavitt Partners’ report. You can follow @IDHW. Audio of the meeting will be available at: 

About Idaho Medicaid: Medicaid is a federal-state partnership that offers medical insurance coverage to vulnerable and low-income people. In Idaho, approximately 235,000 people are enrolled in Medicaid, with 70 percent being children from low income families. Idaho Medicaid also covers people with disabilities, low-income women who are pregnant, and low-income elderly.

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act would provide insurance coverage for low-income adults up to 138 percent of poverty.  Currently, Idaho adults, who are not disabled or elderly, only qualify for Medicaid if they have children and an income less than 20% of poverty—$4,584 a year for a family of four.

Contact: Tom Shanahan
Public Information Officer
(208) 334-0668